Friday, May 25, 2007


I came to the unpleasant realization yesterday that many road bikers look down their nose at someone out just enjoying the sunshine and fresh air on a "cheap" bike. Near the end of my ride I happened across 3 of those hard core road bikers at an intersection. As the bikers rode by I waved at the first man, he did not acknowledge me. "Hmmm weird, maybe he didn't see me." I waved at the second and third bikers. One ignored me and the other gave me what distinctly appeared to be a sneer. As they road away, I could hear them laughing at me!

OK Seriously guys, you are not that cool. The only difference between you and me is that *I am not wearing skin-tight padded ass pants* get over yourself. I have decided that if I run into these 3 again, I will do two things:
1. Suggest the route that I discovered last week- the one on which Cujo nearly ate me.
2. I will furiously honk my bike horn which looks like this:
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

7 Random Things About Me

This one goes out to Estee, my randomness rival. Someday I aspire to be nearly decapitated by a ceiling fan or maimed by a flaming lawn mower but, in the mean time, here are some things that you probably already know about me but tried to forget.

1. Each morning when I get up, I must find the perfect shirt to wear. I do not know what shirt it will be until I try it on and inspect it closely in the mirror. Some days, I go through 5 (or more) shirts just trying to find the perfect shirt. Once in a while I get it on the first try. Rarer still is the "night before perfect shirt prediction". It is the perfect shirt because I cannot wear any other shirt; I must wear the perfect shirt, of which there is only one. That day. Until the next day. When it will be a different shirt. Both my husband and old roommates can attest to the piles of "rejected" shirts that litter the floor once the search has ended. And God help me if the perfect shirt is in the hamper.

2. All iPod play lists must have cryptic and arbitrary titles such as: "strap on your helmet" (biking music), "hippies on a treadmill" (oldies mix for the gym) and my personal favorite, "club Lysol" (techno music to listen to while cleaning the house). On a recent car trip I had very difficult time deciding between "yellow stripes down the middle" and "are we there yet?"

3. All cleaning is best done after 11:00 PM. There is a very sound reasoning behind this. Many of you may be familiar with the following phenomenon: you spend the day cleaning the house and once you are done you decide to relax in a bath or perhaps go to bed early with a book. When you wake up in the morning, there is stuff everywhere, a sink full of dirty dishes and dirty clothes on the floor. It is as though the laundry waits until you are in bed to reappear from its hiding place under the bed. The dishes go into the fridge get food on themselves and then jump into the sink. Books and magazines leap from the coffee table and the entire contents of the pantry appears to have engaged in an edible version of musical chairs. If I do not start cleaning until late at night, I can catch the offending dishes and laundry in the act. I can replace books and magazines as they hurtle towards the carpet. I can fling the pantry door open and bellow "AH HA!" at which point the canned goods sheepishly return to their assigned locations.

4. I have a gigantic head. I mean, really, it is like a watermelon. I can't find hats that fit. Once on a trip to Disney land, I had to go to 7 different souvenir shops before I could find a hat that fit to take home. It's embarrassing. Don't even get me started on headbands; it is like trying to put a rubber band around a beach ball.

5. French fries taste better on the burger than with the burger. It is a documented fact. (Documented by me.) Here is my procedure for eating a hamburger: first, take the top off the burger. Second, place French fries lined up, in parallel, on top. The ends of the fries should not stick out past the bun so be sure to select fries of the appropriate length OR "trim" the fries first by munching off the end. Finally, place the bun back on top of the fries and enjoy. I'm told this is intriguing to watch.

6. Many people have told me that I am like a walking version of Trivial Pursuit. The sheer volume of random crap I know that has nothing to do with *anything* is mind-boggling. For example, a team of physics graduate students recently disproved the widely accepted idea that a duck's quack does not echo. I have a co-worker who regularly says to me "WHAT?!? How could anyone possibly know that off the top of their head?" But I do. And all that useless crap taking room up in my brain is probably why I couldn't tell you what I ate for lunch yesterday. Or what color socks I have on right now. Information on duck quack echoes just seems more important.

7. The thing that has caused me the most shame and humiliation in my life to date is my utter inability to keep houseplants alive. I can kill them within hours, not days of bringing them into my home. This is problematic for two reasons. First, everyone else I know seems to be very good with houseplants and second, I am a FRIGGIN BIOLOGIST! I have a master's degree in environmental science for crying out loud. My husband says I have a black thumb; specifically, the black thumb of death, on both hands. I think it is pretty much hopeless.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Nearly Eaten

Last night I headed out on my road bike for a long ride through the countryside around Fennville. After I had been riding about 40 minutes I made a quick stop to get a drink of water and tinker with my iPod. I always try to stop at or near the top of a hill so that I can use the momentum I've built up going down hill to get back up the other side of the hill. You see the area where I live, by Michigan standards, is quite hilly. (By BB standards, it is roughly equivalent to biking up Everest.) I had already biked up several hills and being in a particularly zealous mood, I decided to continue on and bike farther than usual. Why not?

I will tell you why not:
Once I got going again and got to the bottom of the hill I heard a strange sharp noise coming from behind me. It was difficult to hear it over the blaring iPod but I could definitely hear something. I looked in the rear view attached to my handlebars. Looming behind me in the distance was a gigantic set of white chompers affixed inside the mouth of a 150 lb yellow lab. The dog was barking and galloping at full tilt towards me. "Uh, this isn't good." Then, I looked from the rear view mirror back to the road, the hill in front of me rose up from the ground at what seemed to be a ludicrous incline. "I am going to get eaten."

I started to pedal faster, halfway up the hill a quick check in the rear view revealed the dog was gaining on me. The strange thing was even though he was barking and showing some serious teeth, the tail was flying back and forth like a metronome. "I think he is enjoying this! Maybe he just wants to play." The dog growls and speeds up. "Maybe not."

The dog was gaining on me, near the top of the hill he got close enough that I'm pretty sure he was drooling on my back tire. The barking was right behind me and I was just hoping that once it got to the top there would be a nice steep slope on the other side so I could pick up some speed and get away from this Cujo wanna-be. Just as I crested the top of the hill I checked the rear view. I could not see the dog, which meant he was in my blind spot and less than a few feet away. As I started down the other side of the hill, which was mercifully, very steep, the dog dropped back unable to keep up with my screamin' fast Huffy road bike. He re appeared in my rear view mirror as he slowed to a trot and stopped barking.

As I road away I turned to see him standing halfway down the hill with his tongue hanging down to his knees panting and tail still wagging. "That was a great workout" I thought to myself "but tomorrow, I am going a different way!"

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Black Dog, White Donuts

Who Drank the orange soda

This video reminds me of something that happened at our house a few months back:

On a recent trip to the grocery store, Chris and I had purchased one dozen powdered donuts. In a hurry to leave for work a few mornings later I did not shut the pantry door in the kitchen tightly. Coincidentally, this is where the 11 remaining powdered donuts were sitting still in their box.

Upon returning home from work I found Warp, my dog, running around the house as though he had a rocket attached to his rear. He was MANIC! After closer inspection I noticed a strange powdery white substance all over his muzzle. "Oh no" I thought, "he got into the donuts. I wonder how many he ate." When I walked into the kitchen, I found the pantry door wide open and a few small shreds of the white donut box shoved into the corner of the doorway. The dog had eaten the entire box of donuts (minus 1) and then, desperate not to get into trouble, had eaten the box including the cellophane as well, presumably, to hide the evidence. What my black dog didn't bank on was that fact that the evidence was literally written all over his face.